Legal website terms and conditions
There is a great deal of legal information on the web. Much of this information is published on websites with a legal focus, whether those of law firms, barristers' chambers, NGOs, legal journals, legal support businesses or individual lawyers. The legal information comes in many forms: subject introductions, summaries of statutes, case reports, professional practice notes, academic analysis, and so on. One risk that almost all legal information publishers face is that users will treat information as advice, and rely upon it to their detriment. How should this risk be managed?
The website publisher should institute procedures to reduce the risk that defective information will be published, or that users will rely upon the published legal information (whether defective or not) without taking professional advice. The publisher should also incorporate appropriate disclaimers of liability into the website.
This template is designed to help with the second of these tasks, as well as covering all the usual subject matter of website terms and conditions.
Two broad groups of liability disclaimer are included in the document. The first covers legal information specifically. It specifies that information rather than advice is published on the website, and that users should not rely upon that information without further enquiry. The second covers general categories of loss, excluding and restricting certain types of loss which might otherwise be recoverable by a person overcoming the first type of liability disclaimer. Of course, all limitations of liability are subject to review by the courts, and you will need to adapt the limitations in the document to suit the particular circumstances of the website in question.
A special, optional clause is included to cover interactive informational services (eg Q&As).
In addition, this document includes provisions relating to: (i) copyright matters, dealing with the ownership of rights and the rights of users to use the website; (ii) licensing of content uploaded to the website by users; (iii) forms of acceptable and unacceptable website usage; (iv) breaches of the terms and conditions; and (v) user accounts, usernames and passwords, as well as general boilerplate provisions.Ask about this document
Legal website terms and conditions contents
- Introduction: document governs website use; consent to website document: implied; consent to website terms and conditions: express; website user minimum age.
- Copyright notice: UCC copyright notice; ownership of rights in website.
- Permission to use website: licence to use website; no downloading; website use: permitted purposes; no modification of website content; limitations on licence to use website; redistributable content; suspension or restriction of access to website.
- Feeds: access to feeds; accessing feeds and acceptance of document; feeds licence; feeds licence condition; revocation of feeds licence.
- Misuse of website: acceptable use: prohibitions; using contact details prohibited; veracity of information supplied.
- Registration and accounts: account eligibility; account registration process; no other person permitted to use account; notify on misuse of account; use of another's account.
- User login details: provision of login details; user ID rules and impersonation; password to be kept confidential; notify on disclosure of password; responsibility for password loss.
- Cancellation and suspension of account: rights of operator over free website account; cancellation policy for unused accounts; cancellation of free website account by user.
- Our rights to use your content: definition of user content; licence of user content; sub-licensing of user content; right to bring proceedings in respect of user content; waiver of moral rights in user content; user may edit own content; delete etc user content on breach.
- Rules about your content: user content warranty; no unlawful user content; user content rules; civility and user content; hyperlinking and user content; previous complaints and user content.
- Report abuse: request to report abuse; how to report abuse.
- Legal information: no legal advice; information is not an alternative to legal advice; consult a lawyer about legal questions; never delay etc seeking legal advice; legal information and interactive features; no lawyer-client relationship.
- Limited warranties: no warranties for information; right to discontinue website publication; no implied warranties or representations relating to website.
- Limitations and exclusions of liability: caveats to limits of liability; interpretation of limits of liability; no liability for free information or services; no liability for force majeure; no liability for business losses; no liability for loss of data or software; no liability for consequential loss; no personal liability.
- Indemnity: indemnity from website users.
- Breaches of these terms and conditions: consequences of breach; non circumvention of measures upon breach.
- Third party websites: third party websites: hyperlinks not recommendations; third party websites: no control or liability.
- Trade marks: trade mark ownership; third party trade marks on website.
- Variation: document may be revised; variation of website document: unregistered users; variation of website document: registered users.
- Assignment: assignment by first party; assignment by second party.
- Severability: severability of whole; severability of parts.
- Third party rights: third party rights: benefit; third party rights: exercise of rights.
- Entire agreement: entire agreement - use of website.
- Law and jurisdiction: governing law; jurisdiction.
- Statutory and regulatory disclosures: ecommerce regulations: trade register; ecommerce regulations: authorisation scheme; ecommerce regulations: professionals; ecommerce regulations: code of conduct; value added tax number.
- Our details: website operator name; company registration details; place of business; contact information.